Thursday, April 08, 2004

Silence and Redirection 

Charles "Social" Grace, etiquette columnist on PlanetOut, has advice today for dealing with inappropriate questions. He sums up the goal of one faced with such a dillema:

"Your mission: to escape unwanted and inappropriate scrutiny with your dignity intact -- and without ruffling any feathers unnecessarily."

His recommendations:
-Avoid snappy one-liners or as comebacks. Sarcasm is often both wasted on the other person and assaults their dignity, thereby lowering any moral highground you could have claimed.

-Silence is golden. Vary the facial expression and follow up as needed. Maybe change the subject, maybe just walk away.

-Pretend you misheard the inappropriate question, and respond to what would have been a more appropriate related question.

He also gives advice on redirecting the spotlight onto the questioner, politely clarifying that you don't wish to discuss the particular subject, and even better - how to prevent the question in the first place. You'll have to read the article to discover these gems.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:21 AM